Entering Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers hadn’t won a playoff game since May 18, 2006. So when they entered the fourth quarter down 21 points to the Memphis Grizzlies all signs pointed to another loss.
The Clippers had other ideas.
Down 95-71 with 7:54 left, Reggie Evans made a layup that ignited a 28-3 run en route to the Clippers historic comeback win.
FROM ELIAS: The win tied the shot-clock era playoff record for the largest deficit overcome at the end of the third quarter.
Largest Deficit Overcome at End of 3rd Qtr
Playoffs Shot Clock Era
The comeback marked the 15th time this season the Clippers won a game when trailing by 10 or more points, most in NBA (regular & postseason).
But this wasn’t just any comeback, so how did they do it?
The Clippers actually had more turnovers in the fourth quarter (seven), but they led to only two Grizzlies points.
Conversely, all five of the Grizzlies' turnovers led to Clippers points (10).
The Clippers also made eight more field goals including four more three-pointers plus grabbed 13 more rebounds than the Grizzlies. Evans had eight rebounds in the quarter, twice as many as the entire Grizzlies team.
Anatomy of a Comeback
The Grizzlies did their part too going almost nine minutes without a made field goal between 9:13 and 00:28.
They missed 12 straight shots and the only point scored over this stretch was a Mike Conley made free throw.
Game Two is Wednesday back in Memphis where the Grizzlies will have to regroup.
They have lost four of their last five playoff games, but if we learned one thing from Sunday’s action, it’s that ANYTHING can happen in the playoffs.
Statistical support for this story from NBA.com.